CARLSBAD, Calif.– Upper Deck released the results of its All-Time Greatest Collection tournament, with fans voting on the leagueâ€™s best single-season squad ever, the league's best rookie ever, and each team's greatest player ever.
Receiving 64 percent of the vote, the 1962-63 Leafs beat the 1991-92 Pens, completing Upper Deckâ€™s weekly 16-team season-long tourney pitting the NHLâ€™s all-time greatest teams.
Along with the â€˜63 Leafs, six all-time rookies and one player per team will be included in the collection, the industryâ€™s first-ever fan-voted trading card set. It will feature 37 cards in all and hit retail stores this fall.
Each team had an individual player representative with Rick Nash being named the greatest Blue Jacket ever. (Complete list below)
Six rookies were selected, as Tony Esposito (Chicago Blackhawks), Mario Lemieux (Penguins), Guy Lafleur (Montreal Canadiens), Gilbert Perreault (Buffalo Sabres), Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings) and Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers) all earned the fans' votes.
While only one player per team made the All-Time Greatest Collection – with players really only battling other members from the same franchise – it was a battle all season to see who would finish with the most overall votes.
The New York Rangersâ€™ Andy Bathgate led the vote for the contestâ€™s first three months, all the way up until the contestâ€™s final two weeks. Bathgate will still represent the Rangers in Upper Deckâ€™s collection, but was overtaken for all-time greatest player by both Bostonâ€™s Bobby Orr (No. 1) and Montrealâ€™s Maurice Richard (No. 2).
Orr won the title by less than one-tenth of a percent of the overall all-time player vote. In total, 4.5 million votes were tallied across the contestâ€™s three categories.
Rookie Alexander Ovechkin, who became only the sixth rookie in NHL history to score at least 100 points in a season, was voted the best Washington Capital ever, besting Mike Gartner.
Gretzky, Perreault and Lemieux were the only players to have two cards in the set, being selected as the best rookie and one all-time greatest player for their individual team. Fans of hall-of-famer Bobby Hull and son, Brett, came en masse to vote as Brett was St. Louisâ€™ all-time player representative while finishing in the top-six all time. Brett also nearly beat Mike Modano to become Dallasâ€™ all-time greatest player, and Bobby Hull, who was not listed on the ballot, got the most write-in votes of any player, with 2,225 for his tenure with Chicago.
All-Time Greatest Collection Team Representatives:
Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins)
Maurice Richard (Montreal Canadiens)
Andy Bathgate (New York Rangers)
TedLindsay (Detroit Red Wings)
Brett Hull (St. Louis Blues)
Stan Mikita (Chicago Blackhawks)
Bobby Clarke (Philadelphia Flyers)
Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Mike Modano (Dallas Stars
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Darryl Sittler Toronto (Maple Leafs)
Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers)
Ron Francis (Carolina Hurricanes)
Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators)
Al MacInnis (Calgary Flames)
Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)
Teemu Selanne (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim)
Pavel Bure (Vancouver Canucks)
Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche)
Gilbert Perreault (Buffalo Sabres)
Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta Thrashers)
John Vanbiesbrouck (Florida Panthers)
Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders)
Marcel Dionne (Los Angeles Kings)
Marian Gaborik (Minnesota Wild)
Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Tomas Vokoun (Nashville Predators)
Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose Sharks)
For the complete voting results, visit www.thealltimegreatest.com. Please note: the names mentioned above may or may not be included in the final checklist for inclusion in the All-Time Greatest Collection and are dependent upon the availability of the player.
About the Upper Deck Company
Founded in 1988, The Upper Deck Co. is a premier global sports and entertainment-publishing company that delivers a portfolio of relevant, innovative and multi-dimensional product experiences to collectors, sports and entertainment enthusiasts.